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China: New measures will make CCP propaganda mandatory at all places of worship

For background on Orthodox Christianity in China, see here.

For previous coverage of the persecution of Christians in China, see here.

“Coming Soon in China: New (and Worse) ‘Administrative Measures for Religious Activity Venues,’” by Hu Zimo, Bitter Winter, April 7, 2023:

What else needs to be regulated in Chinese religion? All religions are suffocated by a plethora of laws, regulations, and ordinances, not to mention the daily administrative and police surveillance. Yet, Xi Jinping has repeatedly stated that there are still risks that unchecked religion may threaten the CCP, and bureaucrats follow up with continuous new measures.

The 2005 “Regulations for the Establishment, Approval, and Registration of Religious Activity Venues” were already bad enough. However, the 2023 “Administrative Measures for Religious Activity Venues,” which will replace those of 2005, are worse. They have been published as a draft for comments, which interested parties may submit by April 24. As usual, this pseudo-democratic process will not result in significant changes, and most likely in no changes at all.

With respect to 2005, there is nothing new in the fact that, to legally operate, religious venues should be registered with the authorities. What changes is the emphasis on the fact that each place of worship should be an active agency of CCP propaganda. A place of worship may obtain and maintain (since it is easy to lose) a permission to operate only if it “supports the leadership of the CCP, supports the socialist system, carries out an in-depth implementation of Xi Jinping thought of socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era, abides by the Constitution, laws, regulations, rules and relevant provisions of the management of religious affairs, practices the core values of socialism, adheres to the direction of Sinicization of religion.”

Note that it is not enough to refrain from dissent. Places of worship, whose “liquidation” is made quicker and easier, should actively preach “love for the motherland, and support for the leadership of the CCP and the socialist system.” Priests, pastors, imams, and monks should also be selected on the basis of their “love for the motherland and support for the leadership of the CCP and the socialist system.”…

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